From Publishers Weekly
In recent years, Protestants have discovered icons, once the provenance of Eastern Orthodox churches. Zelensky (a historian of Russia) and Gilbert (a prolific writer/ghostwriter) team up to introduce Eastern icons to Western Christians. The authors open with a lucid discussion of what an icon is—and is not. It is not merely a work of art depicting the life of Jesus; it is a way of entering into relationship with the Triune God, "an instrument through which the knowledge of God... becomes accessible" to humanity. The heart of the book is a reading of five famous icons, including Andrei Rublev's icon of the Holy Trinity. Readers will learn about the history of these icons, their "writers" (creators), symbolism and place in Orthodox theology and liturgy. Six glossy illustrations round out the book. One wishes that the authors had refrained from straying occasionally into large philosophical debates, such as the issue of relativism versus objective reality; their forays into these quagmires are superficial and distracting. Still, the book is a feast; its authors compellingly suggest that icons offer a much-needed space for contemplation in a frenetic world. Indeed, this little book is itself such an oasis. Readers who like Frederica Mathewes-Green and Henri Nouwen will welcome this new addition to the icon shelf.
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About the Author
Elizabeth Zelensky, a Russian Orthodox believer, lectures in history at Georgetown University.
Lela Gilbert has written and coauthored numerous books, including Islam at the Crossroads and Their Blood Cries Out.